The Republicans’ Preexisting Condition

rock and hard place

Lots of people are dumping shade on Judge O’Connor’s ruling last night, declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The opinion is 55 pages long. I have it, but I haven’t read it, so I shall follow my salutary rule against opining on documents I have not read.

But here is a quick observation.

The plaintiffs are 20 states, represented by their Republican attorneys general and/or governors. Unsurprisingly, the United States is the chief named defendant. It is normally understood to be the duty of the U.S. Justice Department to defend against legal challenges to laws passed by Congress. However, in June the Justice Department stated that it would decline to defend the Affordable Care Act because, it its view, the requirement that insurance companies cover people with preexisting conditions is unconstitutional.

In the recent campaign, you will recall, denying health care to folks with preexisting conditions was so toxic that candidate after candidate on the Republican side lied about their own position.

Now what the hell are they going to do?

In answer to my own rhetorical question, I suppose that, first of all, they will pray for the Supreme Court to reverse the Texas district court.

But … oh, wait … who the hell have they just put on the Supreme Court?